BRIGITTE Wagner-Halswick of Rowa Pharmaceuticals in Bantry has been announced as the winner of The Southern Star's 2022 County Mayor’s Award for West Cork Business Ambassador (sponsored by Cork County Council) at the West Cork Business and Tourism Awards which take place this Friday.
Ms Wagner-Halswick said the award means a great deal for Rowa but is primarily a huge achievement for her staff. Rowa was founded by Mrs Wagner’s late husband Roland, a German industrialist, and takes its name from his initials.
Roland Wagner travelled to West Cork in 1959 planning to set up an Irish branch of his firm Rowa Wagner Germany, eventually settling on Bantry.
When Roland Wagner died in 1979, his wife took over the company.
It was a challenging time, but Mrs Wagner was determined the company would pull through, and Rowa now ranks among the top Irish companies, exporting to 80 countries worldwide.
Rowa now employs 80 staff, the majority of whom are based locally, and Mrs Wagner stresses that the company is committed to remaining in the area.
‘The wage bill going into Bantry from Rowa every week is huge, that’s all local people who live within a 20 to 30 mile catchment area
of Bantry, so all that money is being spent locally which is hugely important to the economy of Bantry,’ she said.
Rowa’s location in rural West Cork doesn’t cause any issues for the company.
‘We have been here since 1959 and I believe you get very good people working here, because they like the location and the lifestyle that goes with it. They want to raise their families in a better environment. They’re here for the long-term and they’re settled in the area which is good for us as a company.’
For all West Cork Business and Tourism Awards finalists, see the special 28-page supplement in the current edition of The Southern Star. In shops now or online via our ePaper.